Snow chaos costs BA £50 mn in December

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British Airways announced Thursday that the snow chaos last month had cost the airline about 50 million pounds (59 million euros, 78 million dollars).

"An initial assessment indicates that the weather disruption will have a financial impact ... of some 50 million pounds, with some small additional impact in January from cancelled return journeys," BA said in a statement.

The carrier, which is merging with Spanish peer Iberia to cut costs, added that the total number of passengers had plunged by 10.8 percent last month to 2.142 million. That compared with 2.401 million in December 2009.

"Traffic was affected by the weather conditions in the UK, Europe and North America, causing airport closures and reduced operating capacities, equivalent to a reduction in capacity versus December 2009 of around 12 percent," BA said.

Air travellers faced severe disruption last month as freezing weather across the northern hemisphere sparked travel chaos.

British Airways was forced to cancel more than 2,000 flights as a result of the cold snap.

The country's Met Office national weather service said on Wednesday that last month was the coldest December since records began.

© 2011 AFP

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